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This study conceptualizes founding team human capital with three multi-item scales that are related to critical functional areas in new service ventures: marketing capabilities, market-linking capabilities, and service design capabilities. We develop and empirically test a theoretical framework linking founding team capabilities to service venture performance through two strategic positional advantages: scalability and protectability. Our results provide insight into previous inconsistent findings regarding founding teams' impact on new venture performance, offer important managerial implications, and point to future research directions.